June 2006 Archives

Back in 2004, before Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of many of New Orleans' neighborhoods and schools, three local writing teachers started a new kind of "book club." Instead of reading books, club members (students in many of the area's struggling public schools) were paid to document their experiences and write autobiographical books about their communities. On the eve of Hurricane Katrina, the books published by the Neighborhood Story Project had already become local bestsellers. This feature from WhatKidsCanDo.org documents the project's success and recovery....


If you had Education Secretary Margaret Spellings' ear at dinner, what would you ask her? That is the question edutopia put to its readers. Read the published responses to see what they had to say....


Backed by a bipartisan group of distinguished education advocates, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute today released a new report it says provides a solution to equitably financing public education in the United States. Entitled "Fund the Child: A 100% Solution," the report is accompanied by a series of resources, including an op-ed from today's New York Times by former Secretary of Education Rod Paige....


National Public Radio correspondent Claudio Sanchez reports on recent data from Education Week that says states are reporting figures for graduating students that do not match up with the actual number of students receiving diplomas. The EdWeek report, Diplomas Count: An Essential Guide to Graduation Policy and Rates, is the first in a series of annual reports providing graduation data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and in the nation's 50 largest school districts. (NPR report requires audio player.)...


Do diplomas count? Not if they're not recognized by colleges, employers, or even the military, argue researchers, policymakers, and education professionals who are concerned about the future of New York City's special education students. Most of the city's special education graduates receive a certificate that signifies only their completion of an Individualized Education program (IEP), and not a real diploma. But, as Beth Fertig reports in this WNYC radio series, such a certificate holds little value in the real world, and offers no guarantee that students can even read when they graduate....


Michele Norris of NPR's "All Things Considered," takes a look at the current state of affairs in Belzoni, Miss.—"...the seat of Humphreys County, still one of the poorest counties in one of the poorest states in the United States." Belzoni was also the setting for the 1967 landmark book, Still Hungry in America, with photographs by Al Clayton and text by psychiatrist Robert Coles. The book poignantly documented the lives of former sharecroppers and drove home to Americans that hunger was alive and well right here at home. Norris travels to Belzoni and finds many changes. This time, instead...


Millions of low-income parents in the U.S. struggle daily to provide food for their families. For children in these households, going to school hungry is all too common. Programs administered by the federal government provide students with nutritious meals during the school week, but they often are left to fend for themselves over the weekends. Schools in 30 states have implemented an innovative program to ensure that access to meals does not end on Fridays after the final bell rings....


Internships can be great additions to college applications and give applicants an edge over other students. According to this June 10 Wall Street Journal article, in the never-ending attempt to help their children gain that edge, parents are now buying internships at fundraising auctions*. Morgan Stanely, NBC, Miramax, WebMD, Electronic Arts and many other companies have all donated internships, usually to elite private schools. These internships can bring in big bucks for schools. For example, the Journal reports that the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., raised more than $800,000 for its scholarship fund through its annual spring auction in ...


Increasingly, students are living their lives openly online. Schools have found ways to track what students are saying and doing online. And punishments have followed. All around the U.S. reprimands have been handed down from schools to students who made "inappropriate" postings on sites such as MySpace.com. This June 8 Salon.com article takes a look at the implications of this increased monitoring and the question of public students' right to freedom of expression....


For some Christian high school students, the chance to further their education at a secular university is a welcome challenge. However, problems can arise when courses at religious schools do not match the institutions' admission requirements. In this Education Next article, journalist and author Naomi Schaefer Riley examines what happens when the academic standards of evangelical schools clash with those of public universities....


Laptop computers are becoming a more and more common educational resource. And, with their obvious benefits, the goal of one laptop for every student and teacher in a school is also gaining popularity. Yet, even with the financial and technical capabilities, how do you implement and maintain a one-laptop-per-student program? In this article from Techlearning.com, Todd Bryant offers tips from both a technical and management angle on how to make a 1:1 learning program successful. (Free registration required)...


Children in America have lost significant opportunities for active, stimulating, and creative play that used to be commonplace; as a result, childhood obesity has risen and children’s social and cognitive development has suffered. Among recent focuses on the rise of childhood obesity and decreasing recess time in school, AEI-Brookings Joint Center and Common Good hosted a forum on May 31 to discuss the relationship between America’s growing aversion to risk and the development and health of our children. Watch the Webcast of this forum discussion....


MySpace and similar social networking Web sites can be dangerous places for kids. Reports of naive school children falling victim to cyber predators litter the news these days, cautioning parents and administrators to monitor and, in many cases, restrict access to protect young users. But kids are finding ways around the restrictions. Read more about kids' crafty workarounds in this article from CNET News.com....


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